Commonwealth v. Cargill.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Writing for the CourtDREW, Justice.
Citation357 Pa. 510,55 A.2d 373
PartiesCOMMONWEALTH v. CARGILL.
Decision Date10 November 1947

357 Pa. 510
55 A.2d 373

COMMONWEALTH
v.
CARGILL.

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Nov. 10, 1947.


Appeal No. 101, March term, 1947, from the sentence of the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Allegheny County at No. 80 April Sessions, 1946; Joseph A. Richardson, Judge.

James Cargill was convicted of first-degree murder, and he appeals.

Judgment affirmed, and record remitted.

Before MAXEY, C. J., and DREW, LINN, STERN, PATTERSON, STEARNE and JONES, Jj.

Albert Martin, of Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Artemas C. Leslie, Dist. Atty., William H. Colvin, Asst. Dist. Atty., and Louis L. Kaufman, all of Pittsburgh, for appellee.

DREW, Justice.

James Cargill, defendant, was indicted and tried for the murder of Fred Squires in Allegheny County. The jury returned a verdict of guilty in the first degree and fixed the penalty at lift imprisonment. The learned court below overruled defendant's motion for a new trial and imposed the sentence fixed by the jury. This appeal followed assigning as error the refusal of a new trial.

55 A.2d 374

There is little if any excuse for this appeal. Defendant freely admitted an intentional homicide and attempted to justify his act by pleading self-defense. The jury found his act was malicious as well as intentional, and properly found him guilty of murder of the first degree. The penalty was fixed at life imprisonment instead of death, probably because of the bad reputation of the deceased, who had already killed a man and was known generally as a bad character.

The essential facts are briefly these: On February 12, 1946, at about 2:30 o'clock a. m., Fred Squires was killed by two gunshot wounds in the head. At trial defendant admitted that the fatal bullets were fired by him at very close range from a .38 caliber Colt revolver. He also conceded that the shooting was intentional. He denied, however, that the homicide was malicious as claimed by the Commonwealth, but argued that he acted in self-defense.

Squires, the deceased, had operated a gambling house in the Borough of Homestead, Allegheny County had lost heavily there at a dice game during the two days immediately preceding the killing. Defendant testified he went to the gambling house that night and was discussing with Squires the money he had lost when Squires suddenly jumped up from his chair with his hand on his gun. Defendant testified that he began shooting immediately because he knew Squires had a gun and he was afraid of him because of his bad reputation. The jury rejected this defense....

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32 practice notes
  • Com. v. Kirkland
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 27, 1963
    ...Commonwealth v. Donough, 377 Pa. 46, 103 A.2d 694, supra; Commonwealth v. Palermo, 368 Pa. 28, 81 A.2d 540; Commonwealth v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 55 A.2d 373; Commonwealth v. Colandro, 231 Pa. 343, 80 A. 571; Commonwealth v. Paese, 220 Pa. 371, 69 A. 891, 17 L.R.A.,N.S., Murder is an unlawf......
  • Com. v. Bell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 29, 1986
    ...304 A.2d 121, 122 (1973); Commonwealth v. Donough, 377 Pa. 46, 52, 103 A.2d 694, 698 (1954); Commonwealth[512 Pa. 341] v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373, 374 (1947); Commonwealth v. Flax, 331 Pa. 145, 153, 200 A. 632 (1938); Commonwealth v. Principatti, 260 Pa. 587, 596, 104 A. 53, ......
  • Com. v. Richardson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 2, 1958
    ...Pa. 402, 422, 93 A.2d 704; Com. v. Moyer, 357 Pa. 181, 187, 53 A.2d 736; Com. v. Holley, 358 Pa. 296, 302, 56 A.2d 546; Com. v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373; Com. v. Almeida, 362 Pa. 596, 600, 68 A.2d 595, 12 A.L.R.2d Defendant cites two prior decisions of this Court to support hi......
  • Com. v. Heckathorn
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 24, 1968
    ...under the influence of passion.' Commonwealth v. Colandro, 1911, 231 Pa. 343, 350, 80 A. 571, 574; Commonwealth v. Cargill, 1947, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373. * * [429 Pa. 540] "'In Commonwealth v. Colandro, 231 Pa. 343, at page 350, 80 A. 571, at page 574, the Court said: * * * ''The ter......
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32 cases
  • Com. v. Kirkland
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • November 27, 1963
    ...Commonwealth v. Donough, 377 Pa. 46, 103 A.2d 694, supra; Commonwealth v. Palermo, 368 Pa. 28, 81 A.2d 540; Commonwealth v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 55 A.2d 373; Commonwealth v. Colandro, 231 Pa. 343, 80 A. 571; Commonwealth v. Paese, 220 Pa. 371, 69 A. 891, 17 L.R.A.,N.S., Murder is an unlawf......
  • Com. v. Bell
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • December 29, 1986
    ...304 A.2d 121, 122 (1973); Commonwealth v. Donough, 377 Pa. 46, 52, 103 A.2d 694, 698 (1954); Commonwealth[512 Pa. 341] v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373, 374 (1947); Commonwealth v. Flax, 331 Pa. 145, 153, 200 A. 632 (1938); Commonwealth v. Principatti, 260 Pa. 587, 596, 104 A. 53, ......
  • Com. v. Richardson
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • May 2, 1958
    ...Pa. 402, 422, 93 A.2d 704; Com. v. Moyer, 357 Pa. 181, 187, 53 A.2d 736; Com. v. Holley, 358 Pa. 296, 302, 56 A.2d 546; Com. v. Cargill, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373; Com. v. Almeida, 362 Pa. 596, 600, 68 A.2d 595, 12 A.L.R.2d Defendant cites two prior decisions of this Court to support hi......
  • Com. v. Heckathorn
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • April 24, 1968
    ...under the influence of passion.' Commonwealth v. Colandro, 1911, 231 Pa. 343, 350, 80 A. 571, 574; Commonwealth v. Cargill, 1947, 357 Pa. 510, 513, 55 A.2d 373. * * [429 Pa. 540] "'In Commonwealth v. Colandro, 231 Pa. 343, at page 350, 80 A. 571, at page 574, the Court said: * * * ''The ter......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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